VOTE ALERT: Senate Passes ENDA, Congressman Paulsen Continues to Block It

Today an overwhelmingly bipartisan group of Senators passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, meaning that Congressman Erik Paulsen and House Republicans are now the only obstacle to making sure that workers can’t be fired for who they love.

The Senate voted to pass ENDA today by a vote of 64 to 32, but Congressman Paulsen’s House Majority Leader Eric Cantor confirmed that the legislation won’t even come up for a vote in the House, meaning many Americans will continue to live in fear of discrimination and firing because of their sexual orientation.

“The Senate has acted, passing this landmark legislation with a broad bipartisan majority, but as we have seen time and again this year, Congressman Paulsen and House Republicans are blocking reasonable solutions, vowing to continue to stop the Employment Non-Discrimination Act,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Paulsen is so disconnected from mainstream Americans, who believe that no one should be fired simply because of who they love. In the Senate, Republicans and Democrats alike stood together to say ‘no’ to discrimination, but because of Congressman Paulsen and House Republicans’ backward thinking, commonsense solutions will once again die in the House.”

BACKGROUND:

The Senate Overwhelmingly Passed the Employee Non-Discrimination Act “In a Bipartisan Show of Support That is Rare for Any Social Issue.” “The Senate on Thursday approved a ban on discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity, voting 64 to 32 in a bipartisan show of support that is rare for any social issue. It was the first time in the institution’s history that it had voted to include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the country’s nondiscrimination law. Despite initial wariness among many Republicans about the bill, 10 of them voted with 54 members of the Democratic majority to approve the measure. But nothing is guaranteed in the House, where Speaker John A. Boehner has repeatedly said he opposes the bill.” [New York Times, 11/07/13; S. 815, Vote #232, 11/07/13]

…But Speaker Boehner Opposes ENDA and “It Seems Unlikely That it Would Even Get a Vote” in the House. “House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) affirmed on Monday morning that he would oppose a law that would prohibit discrimination against gay and lesbian employees in the workplace, citing the possibility that it would put a financial burden on businesses. […] And with Boehner coming out in opposition, it seems unlikely that it would even get a vote.” [Huffington Post, 11/04/13]